How is the ‘web’ going to change education?

I think it’s pretty plainly clear to many that big changes are well underway in how people create, consume and consider media – but every once in a while it’s great to have a physical reinforcement of the changes afoot.

Take a look at the following video:

If I were to tell you this was the latest studio released video from Modest Mouse would you even question it?

The background (from Wooster Collective):

Myself and a couple have friends have entered the above into the Modest Mouse video competition. Using green screen footage provided by the band we cut a simple music video. We then degraded the images and printed out each frame sequentially. (all 4133 of them) We then nailed each “shot” of 50-100 posters to various structures and posts. Then using a digital SLR camera with a long exposure we frame by frame shot each poster. Oh, and theres a little video projection (again, frame by frame on the SLR) just to mix it up. There is no compositing, no shortcuts, just lots of blood, sweat and tears, and a huge Kinkos bill!


I remember a little over 10+ years ago sitting down in front of a non-linear editing system for the first time (A Media100, followed shortly by time with Avid & Quantel systems). At that time they were systems that ran in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, well out of reach of the average consumer – and now pretty much every machine comes out of the box with much more horsepower and many of the features that those systems had, for free.

I’m amazed almost every day now by the talent and creativity I encounter online but it also creates an interesting question for me:

How is the post secondary education system going to adapt?

Tools and information are practically free these days – the notion of sharing your ideas & discoveries with as many as possible is quickly becoming the norm. In 1995 I went to school to get access to equipment that was beyond my means, access to the knowledge I needed, and hopefully connections into the industry.

Now, for the cost of a year’s tuition I can hook myself up with a decent computer a still camera and a video camera, the tools. The net contains countless tutorials, essays and examples where I can learn the fundamentals, the information. And, well, connections have never been easier to make through sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and people’s blogs. So what’s left?

Has post secondary education simply become a reflex rather than a necessity? Are people applying because “that’s what you do”? Certainly there are some disciplines where equipment is still largely inaccessible to the masses (Sciences/Medial) but realistically, how long until we see the first “co-working” labs emerge? Community funded telescopes?

Will (have?) post secondary institutions simply degrade into certification bodies? Somewhere you go once you feel you’ve amassed enough knowledge and experience that you can demonstrate competence?